So here’s another video to try to bring some of the concepts we have been talking about together for the past couple of weeks into a juicy video that we can also laugh at: it’s the walk off scene from Zoolander. This is one of my favorite movies ever, and it’s for a lot of reasons that I won’t put here. Anyways, enjoy the video, and there’ll be my post after it.

Using Zoolander as a Synopsis

There are many different reasons for using Zoolander, and I’ll just start with the facts that David Bowie and Michael Jackson are represented in this video, so we’ll use that as a baseline. Also, since we just finished talking about men’s fashion, I’ll take a brief (haha – there’s a pun if you watched the video) look into this.

So Derek Zoolander challenges Hansel to a walk-off as a way to prove that he’s still got the skills to be the best male model out there. He struts his stuff in what I can only imagine to be designer red leather clothes that he can easily throw off to the crowd, as the clothes end up augmenting his skills as a model. They empower him to be better at his craft: male modeling. They are also his identity (mer-man!), as he has known nothing else in his life besides modeling. He’s got the perfect complexion, and also “his hair looks really really good with gel in it”, and the clothes become his second skin, as he becomes super comfortable in them – they are his work after all. They also show the viewer that this second skin that he wears all the time, coupled with his physical prowess, make people think that he is really, really not intelligent. Derek wants kids to be able to read good, too, and that’s a healthy aspiration for anyone to have. The film also shows Derek trying to overcome what he knows and his clothes make others think he is as well, which is what I also got out of the men’s clothing reading. There is more to people than what the clothes they wear, even though this is the only readily accessible access point to their lifeworld. I wonder how we can compare these male models to real male models – what differences would we end up finding?

So also, why do I keep end up talking about clothing and interpretation in this class? This is a central issue I believe is at play in my capstone, and the only way for me to begin to understand a theoretical viewpoint is for me to keep expressing it out loud to everyone.

And Hansel is trying to earn a living, but he’s just as scared of other male models too, which says volumes about the total package of clothing and body posture. That says a lot about phenomenology to me, how bout you?

Also, we should get a chance to bring everyone together to watch this: it’s loaded with different aspects for us to take to the critique table.